Choosing the right primary teacher at college or conservatory is one of the most important decisions a music student will make in their musical career, according to Deborah Simpkin King. A conductor and educator, King is artistic director and founder of Schola Cantorum on Hudson and its Conducting and Choral Scholar programs. Her tips on finding the perfect fit with a teacher for undergraduate or graduate studies are a great resource to share with young conductors and singers.
When you stop to think about the ways people sing together, the diversity is breathtaking. Just a partial list includes community, school, collegiate, and church choruses, as well as gospel choirs, barbershop groups, contemporary a cappella ensembles, men’s choruses, and special mission groups like threshold choirs.
Choral conductor Robert Shafer reflects on his many experiences over the span of his 50 years in the Washington, DC choral community with choral singer and writer Michael Doan.
David Hagen has a deep sense of belonging to the place he was raised. “I'm just an Alaska lover,” he says. “I love the wilderness, and it's something that's a critical part of my life.”
There's a groundbreaking musical powered entirely by the human voice. In Transit is Broadway’s first a cappella musical, boasting a creative team that includes Frozen songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez and contemporary a cappella guru Deke Sharon. The show’s run is an exciting development for proponents of vocal music, and a prime showcase for actors with unique a cappella singing talents like James Snyder.
Music is an emotional medium, yet we often spend rehearsal time in our choirs focused on notes, rhythms, and precision, rarely addressing the meaning of the music, says arranger and producer Deke Sharon. In the new book The Heart of Vocal Harmony: Emotional Expression in Group Singing, Sharon puts the process of delivering an emotionally compelling performance front and center.
Each month, Chorus America profiles one of our members in our Meet A Member interview series. To mark the season of giving, we changed things up a little bit for December and spoke to a Chorus America donor, Michael Pettry, executive director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, who has also been known to be generous with his time and talents. President & CEO Catherine Dehoney spoke to Michael about his latest work with the Symphonic Choir and what inspires him to give.
Podcasts: They seem to be sprouting up everywhere these days. Similar to social media and the smartphone, the rise of podcasts—audio programs released as a series of episodes that you can subscribe to and download onto your device—has brought significant changes to the way we consume our media today. In 2013, Apple’s podcasts hit the one billion subscriber mark.
Every conductor, singer or voice teacher needs a few good vocal hacks. No, we’re not talking mediocre singers; we’re borrowing from the tech world where Merriam-Webster defines a hack as a “creative solution to a computer hardware or programming problem or limitation.”
In the wake of terrible events, choruses and choral leaders have found ways to be part of the response and healing process.
This August, Chorus America released the results of the first-ever systematic look at what moves and motivates the people who attend choral music concerts. In partnership with leading research and consulting firm WolfBrown, the Intrinsic Impact Audience Project worked with 23 choruses across North America to survey their audiences.
At 91, Kansas-born Kirke Mechem has often been called “the dean of American choral composers.” That does not mean he is slowing down, however.